Everything you wanted to know about the Whole30 diet

We are always on the hunt for the next big diet that will help us shed those holiday pounds in the easiest, most effective way ever. Whole30 claims that by eliminating certain food groups from your diet, it can change your relationship with food and improve your health and fitness overall.

Cutting out – an overview

The food groups that the Whole30 diet suggests that you cut out include sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes. These are to be gotten rid of entirely from your diet to allow you to figure out which groups are holding you back.

Eating more – an overview

The general idea is that you eat as many whole foods as possible. Prepared foods should contain very few ingredients, and these should all be ingredients that you can pronounce. Plenty of vegetables and natural fats should be included and moderate portions of seafood, meat, eggs, and fruits. Although this seems pretty simple in principle, there are a few questions that a lot of followers of this diet have.

What are legumes?

What is covered by the term ‘legumes’ is one thing that a lot of people struggle with. The plan clarifies that you cannot have any kind of beans, whether they be kidney, lima, fava, black-eye, or anything in-between. Chickpeas, peanuts, lentils and peas are also prohibited. Nor can you have any form of soy – tofu, miso, soy sauce, etc. Phew! However, you are allowed green beans, snow peas and sugar snap peas, as well as tree nuts and butter and milk that come from them, such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews.

What is carrageenan?

Another banned ingredient is carrageenan, but if you don’t know what it is, it can be difficult to avoid! Extracted from red seaweed, this carbohydrate is often used as a gelling agent, a stabilizer or a thickener. Likely to be found in a lot of vegan products, deli meats or juices, so just because something seems as though it should be Whole30-friendly, make sure you check the label.

The dairy exceptions

There are only two exceptions to the rule of not eating any dairy, and these are clarified butter and ghee – two more items that leave many followers scratching their heads! Both clarified butter and ghee are made by cooking butter on a low heat, which causes the milk solids to separate and sink to the bottom, which then allows them to be strained out. The milk proteins in non-clarified butter are the issue, so clarified butter and ghee are allowed on the plan as these milk proteins have been removed.

It’s not an easy diet to get your head around, but looking at the results, it could be very beneficial. Cutting out overly processed foods and sugar are staple parts of a lot of diets so they shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Whole30 certainly beats the Cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon juice diet that Beyonce did!